Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India (“VVSEAI”) is pleased to announce that it has completed the fund raising for its fifth and newest fund with commitments of USD 541 million. VVSEAI Fund V is 80% larger than VVSEAI Fund IV which was raised in 2019.
The new Fund V raise for VVSEAI comes on the heels of strong cash-on-cash returns from its portfolio. This includes hugely successful exits from its investments in Grab, FirstCry, XPressBees, Recko, among several others. VVSEAI Fund V is backed by both existing and new Limited Partners, including sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, corporates and family offices across Asia and Europe. New Limited Partners include Japan Investment Corporation (JIC), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and DEG (German Development Finance Institution).
Ben Mathias, Managing Partner of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India commented, “Our earlier funds have had superior cash-on-cash returns and are outperforming benchmarks. This track record led most of our investors from VVSEAI Fund IV to return as investors in VVSEAI Fund V and increase their allocation. In addition, we expanded our total investor base significantly and are happy to welcome all our Limited Partners.”
Chua Joo Hock, Managing Partner of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, also shared, “We continue to be bullish about the tech startup opportunities in this region as we see the ecosystem evolving deeper and becoming more mature. We have been an early, and in many cases, the first institutional investor in successful Southeast Asian and Indian startup companies. Our investment approach has always been, and will continue to be – investing selectively and judiciously. We do not believe in being a prolific investor, but in closely partnering founders and supporting them throughout their journey through ups or downs. This approach has enabled us to build unicorns including Grab, PatSnap, Nium, FirstCry, XpressBees and Licious.”
William Sonneborn, Global Director of Disruptive Technologies, Creative Industries and Funds at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, said: “IFC is a unique investor in venture capital in that we partner with funds to help us identify direct investment opportunities that can have the biggest development impact. We are the largest global development institution focused on boosting private sector investments in emerging markets. We are delighted to partner with Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India to help scale innovative businesses and bring more consumers online, especially in South and Southeast Asia, where many countries are among the most underserved by global venture capital.”
The fund corpus includes a dedicated co-investment envelope of USD 50 million for co-investing alongside the main fund in startups led by women founders. More than 35% of the startups in VVSEAI Fund IV have at least one woman founder and this envelope will be used to further the fund’s intention of supporting more women entrepreneurs.
Rohit Sipahimalani, CIO of Temasek and Board Member of Vertex Holdings said, “We are pleased with the progress of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India especially its support of startups with women founders. While our focus is investing in regional champions, this parallel fund provides the additional resources to reaffirm our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
VVSEAI invests in high-growth startups seeking their early round of institutional venture capital funding in Southeast Asia and India, with a primary focus on Singapore, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and other emerging hubs across the region. The firm has made more than 80 investments and will continue its strategy of investing in early-stage technology and technology-enabled companies in sectors such as Enterprise Technology, Financial Technology, Consumer Internet, Digital Health, Sustainability, Mobility and others. It has 8 investing partners with a total of 22 investing staff across its offices in Singapore, Bangalore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh and Gurgaon.
Joseph Phua, Chairman of 17LIVE Group said, “Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India has been critical to our company’s journey over the last 10 years, and has provided invaluable support and know-how to the company as an investor and as a key value-added partner. They are among the few firms that are able to support a startup from seed-stage until an IPO, through all its phases, and its ups and downs.” Rapidly growing companies in the VVSEAI portfolio include Nium (global cross border payments platform), Licious (online farm-to-fork meat brand), KukuFM (vernacular audio podcast platform), PatSnap (global patent and innovation database), Sunday (digital insurance platform), 17LIVE (live social entertainment platform), Kissht (digital-lender in India), Ace Turtle (omni-channel retail platform for brands), TipTip (monetization platform for creators in Indonesia) and Ayu Health (integrated network of hospitals for India).
VVSEAI is one of six major funds in Vertex’s global network of venture capital funds. These funds each focus on investments in their respective region and industry specialization. Each of the Vertex Funds is independently managed and raises majority of its funds from global investors with Vertex Holdings as the anchor investor. Vertex Holdings is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings. With the combined regional expertise and global reach, each team can leverage on the global network of Vertex teams to get a broad view of innovation and share learning experience across the world.